***** National Hockey League Previews from The Sports Network *****
Wednesday, December 17
(All times Eastern)
OTTAWA SENATORS (12-12-6) AT NEW JERSEY DEVILS (11-15-6), 7 P.M.
(SportsNetwork.com) - The New Jersey Devils will try to avoid matching their
longest losing streak of the season when they host the Ottawa Senators for
Wednesday's clash at Prudential Center.
The Devils are currently in an 0-2-2 slide, marking the franchise's fourth
losing streak of four games or longer this season. New Jersey's only five-game
drought came during an 0-3-2 stretch from Nov. 22-Dec. 2.
New Jersey suffered its latest setback Monday on Long Island, as the Devils
fell to the New York Islanders in a shootout despite scoring the game's first
Marek Zidlicky and Scott Gomez scored in the first period for the Devils, but
Josh Bailey and Matt Martin each tallied in the second and third to help New
York send the game to overtime. Bailey also would provide the winning goal in
the shootout to lift the Isles to the 3-2 decision.
With the shootout knotted at 1-1 heading into the fifth round, Bailey was able
to sneak a low shot between the pads of Keith Kinkaid, and Jacob Josefson
missed the net on New Jersey's last chance.
Kinkaid, a Long Island native, gave workhorse goaltender Cory Schneider a
rare night off and stopped 31 shots in the loss.
"Well we got one point so start there and go home," said Gomez. "It's no
reason to get frustrated because we played well enough. Give them credit, they
came back and it's a good club over there."
Jaromir Jagr had two assists in the loss, moving him past Steve Yzerman for
sole possession of seventh all time with 1,065 helpers. Adam Oates is sixth
Mike Cammalleri missed Wednesday's game with a bruised tailbone and the Devils
forward is questionable for tonight. Cammalleri is leading New Jersey with
11 goals despite playing in only 23 of 32 games this season. Fellow forward
Dainius Zubrus has sat out the last four games with a cut on his leg and is
Schneider is expected to return to the New Jersey crease tonight. He is 2-0-1
with a 1.26 goals against average in three career games against the Senators.
The Devils, who have played an NHL-low 11 games on home ice this season, are
kicking off a four-game stay at the Prudential Center tonight. New Jersey is
3-4-4 as the host this season.
New Jersey is 1-0 against the Senators this season after posting a 3-2
overtime victory in Ottawa on Oct. 25. Jagr registered the OT winner in that
meeting, while Schneider turned aside 33 shots for the win.
Ottawa has claimed five of seven overall in this series, but the Devils have
taken three of five and nine of the last 12 encounters in the Garden State.
The Senators have gone 1-1-1 so far under Dave Cameron, who took over for
fired head coach Paul MacLean last week. Ottawa hopes to give Cameron his
second NHL victory tonight when its completes a three-game road trip.
Ottawa rallied to earn a point from its most recent outing, Monday's 5-4
shootout loss in Buffalo.
The Sens jumped out to a 1-0 lead early in the first period, but the Sabres
scored the next three goals to go ahead 3-1 by the early stages of the second.
Ottawa would answer with three unanswered goals of its own to grab a 4-3 edge
at 5:04 of the third, but Brian Flynn scored for Buffalo with 3:29 remaining
in regulation to send the game to OT.
Matt Moulson eventually delivered the win for the Sabres by scoring the lone
goal of the shootout.
Curtis Lazar scored his first NHL goal in the back-and-forth affair,
while Alex Chiasson tallied a goal and an assist for the Sens, who delivered
Cameron's first victory in Saturday's shootout win in Boston.
Robin Lehner stopped 29 pucks in the losing effort. Craig Anderson will start
tonight's game and owns a 7-2-1 mark and a 2.05 GAA in his career against New
Ottawa lost for the fifth time in six away games on Monday and fell to 6-8-3
as the guest this season.
BOSTON BRUINS (15-13-3) AT MINNESOTA WILD (16-12-1), 8 P.M.
(SportsNetwork.com) - The Boston Bruins will try to earn only their second win
in December when they visit the Minnesota Wild for Wednesday's battle at Xcel
Boston has a 1-4-2 record this month, with both losses after regulation coming
in the club's past two outings. Last season's Presidents' Trophy winners have
just 33 points in 2014-15, leaving the Bruins a point out of a playoff spot in
the Eastern Conference.
The Bruins could have a difficult time ending a three-game slide tonight
considering Boston's history against Minnesota. The Wild have dominated the
Bruins since entering the league as an expansion club in 2000-01, going 12-2-1
in the 15 all-time meetings. Minnesota also boasts a 6-1-1 record as the host
in this matchup.
Boston lost for the fourth time in the last five encounters with the Wild on
Oct. 28, as Minnesota scored three unanswered goals in the third period to
take a 4-3 decision at TD Garden.
The Wild, however, could be forced to play without either of their top two
goaltenders on Wednesday. No. 1 Darcy Kuemper was scratched with an illness
before Tuesday's loss in Chicago and he isn't expected to be able to suit up
tonight. Niklas Backstrom started Tuesday's contest, but also is said to be
dealing with the same stomach issue and he may not be able to go on Wednesday
John Curry has been recalled from Iowa of the American Hockey League and he
could get the start for the Wild. The 30-year-old journeyman made one start
for Minnesota in 2013-14. If neither Backstrom or Kuemper is able to suit up,
Johan Gustafsson also may be recalled to serve as the backup.
Wild defenseman Jared Spurgeon also has missed the last two games with a
stomach bug and is questionable for tonight.
The Bruins, who are 0-1-2 since captain Zdeno Chara returned from a 19-game
absence due to a knee injury, have dropped their last two outings in the
After falling in Saturday's 3-2 decision to Ottawa on home ice, the B's lost
by the same score Tuesday in Nashville. Derek Roy recorded the lone goal of
the shootout for the Predators as Boston fell in the opener of a three-game
Milan Lucic and Reilly Smith scored once each in regulation for the Bruins.
Tuukka Rask came up with 38 saves in the game's first 65 minutes, but was
powerless to prevent Roy's dekes from pulling him out of position before a
backhander provided the hosts' winning margin.
"This is an important road trip for us and it would have been really nice to
get that extra point," said Smith.
Backup netminder Niklas Svedberg could get the start tonight in net. Svedberg
is 3-4-0 with a 2.28 goals against average in nine games this season, but has
never faced the Wild.
The Wild have lost two of their last three games and fell 5-3 in Chicago on
Tuesday. Patrick Kane's late power-play goal was the game-winner for the
Blackhawks, but Minnesota wasn't happy about the call that led to that man
Minnesota defenseman Erik Haula was whistled for hooking with 4:35 left in
regulation and Kane scored 67 seconds later to give Chicago a 4-3 lead. The
Blackhawks would later seal the game on an empty-net tally from Ben Smith.
"Four minutes left and (the referee) decides a good hockey game with a weak
penalty like that," Haula said.
Head coach Mike Yeo seemed to agree with his player's assessment of the call.
"That time in a hockey game in a tie game, a one-handed hook on a dead play,
pretty frustrating," Yeo said.
Nino Niederreiter scored on a penalty shot for Minnesota, while Marco
Scandella and Thomas Vanek also posted goals in the loss. Backstrom gave up
four goals on 38 shots.
The Wild trailed Chicago 3-1 after 40 minutes before Niederreiter and
Scandella drew the club even with goals earlier in the third period.
Minnesota hopes to get back in the win column tonight when it begins a four-
game homestand. The Wild are 9-3-1 as the hosts this season
Boston is 6-7-1 as the guest and will complete this swing Friday in Winnipeg.
DALLAS STARS (11-13-5) AT VANCOUVER CANUCKS (18-10-2), 10 P.M.
(SportsNetwork.com) - The Vancouver Canucks will try to put the brakes on
their longest skid of the season when they host the Dallas Stars in
Wednesday's battle at Rogers Arena.
The Canucks are on an 0-3-1 slide, a stretch that counts as only Vancouver's
second losing streak of the season. The only other time the club suffered
consecutive defeats was with two straight losses against Tampa Bay and Dallas
from Oct 18-21.
The Stars slammed Vancouver 6-3 back in that October meeting in Big D, with
Erik Cole notching two goals for the home team and Jamie Benn, Ryan Garbutt
and Tyler Seguin each adding a goal and a helper. It was the fifth straight
win in the series for Dallas overall and the Stars also have claimed two in a
row and three of the last four encounters in British Columbia.
Vancouver hopes to reverse the recent trend against the Stars after losing its
past two outings in regulation by a combined 8-2 score. The Canucks lost 3-1
in Montreal on Dec. 9 before getting slammed 5-1 by the New York Rangers on
After ending a seven-game road trip with the loss to the Habs, the Canucks had
hopes to get on track in the opener of a four-game homestand on Saturday.
Instead, the Rangers jumped out to a 3-0 lead in the first seven minutes en
route to the blowout victory at Rogers Arena. The rout pushed former Canucks
head coach Alain Vigneault's record against his old team to 3-0.
Nick Bonino supplied the sole offense for the Canucks, making it a 5-1 game at
4:20 of the third period. Ryan Miller was on the hook for all five goals on
just 23 shots.
"I think you play a certain way and now we're getting caught on it," said
Canucks coach Willie Desjardins. "We try to play an aggressive style and if it
doesn't work it goes the other way."
Vancouver, which is tied with San Jose for second place in the Pacific
Division, has fared slightly better on the road than at home this season. The
Canucks are 7-4-1 as the host in 2014-15 compared to an 11-6-1 mark as the
The Canucks welcome Calgary on Saturday before completing their current stay
at home in Monday's clash against Arizona.
Dallas should be well rested heading into tonight's test, as Lindy Ruff's club
has been idle since edging the visiting New Jersey Devils 4-3 on Saturday. It
was the second win in three games for the Stars, who hope to carry that
momentum into tonight's opener of a three-game road trip.
The Stars grabbed a 2-0 lead on Saturday before the Devils rallied to even the
game with a pair of goals in the second period. However, Trevor Daley and
Shawn Horcoff scored later in the second to give Dallas the lead for good.
Seguin and Jason Spezza each finished with a goal and an assist, while Antoine
Roussel supplied two helpers for the Stars, who entered the game with five
losses in their previous six games.
Kari Lehtonen stopped 28-of-31 shots in the win.
"There were a lot of good things," Ruff said. "I thought we missed in the
second period, three or four point-blank that would have really put the game
Garbutt missed Saturday while serving the first of his three-game suspension
for slew-footing Winnipeg's Dustin Byfuglien on Tuesday. He'll also sit out
Friday's game versus Calgary before being eligible to return in the finale of
the road trip Sunday in Edmonton.
Dallas has lost four straight on the road heading into this trek and hasn't
posted an away victory since beating Los Angeles on Nov. 13. The Stars are
5-7-0 as the visiting team in 2014-15.
Miller is expected to start tonight for the Canucks and the veteran netminder
owns a 4-4-1 record and 3.40 goals against average in nine career games
Lehtonen will likely get the call for the Stars and is 7-7-0 with a 2.79 GAA
versus the Canucks.
12/17 10:50:15 ET